The Morning Briefing: Will Kamala Kill the Progressive Vote in 2020?

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Harris Might Make Progressives Sit This One Out

Good Almost End of the Week, brilliant frequent readers of the Kruiser Morning Briefing.

We are still in an “All Things Kamala” extended news cycle and the barrage of hot takes and information about the woman of the hour feels like it’s been delivered from a fire hose. Put mildly, there has been a lot to sift through since Tuesday, and I already knew a lot about her because she used to be my attorney general and my senator.

Among the many perplexing things about Joe Biden choosing Kamala Harris is how she affects the progressive voters. Progressives are still a sought-after constituency and that makes the former prosecutor and attorney general a curious choice.

I briefly alluded to Harris’s less-than-stellar relationship with hardcore progressives in yesterday’s Briefing. Early last year I wrote a post about progressives not being very shy with their condemnation of Harris’s days in law enforcement.

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Ever since Biden stumbled early in the primary debates — largely because of Harris — he has abandoned any pretense of being a moderate and been moving steadily towards the progressive fringe. He seemed to have made functional peace with Bernie Sanders, whose ardent supporters were still stinging from what they felt was a betrayal by the Democratic establishment in 2016.

Ed explored this uncomfortable relationship between Harris and progressives at HotAir yesterday, highlighting a tweet from former Bernie Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray that said the Dems running Biden and Harris showed “contempt for the base.”

progressive
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

That’s going to make the Democratic Labor Day picnic a little awkward.

Throughout all of the social unrest this summer, Basement Biden has been mouthing all of the approved Black Lives Matter progressive talking points. He also brought progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on board as one of his climate policy loons. By all appearances, it seemed that Biden was going to be the perfect progressive puppet.

Does this mean that it was all a head-fake and Biden is pivoting away from the progressives to be the moderate choice that he was being sold as at the beginning of the primaries?

As the kids like to say: LOL.

Biden will still need the progressives to turn out for him in November in greater numbers than they did for Hillary in 2016.

progressive
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

There were already rumors that Harris wasn’t Biden’s first choice, but his final short list really didn’t leave him with many choices that would have appealed to progressives. Karen Bass probably would have been the best of the bunch for that, but she proved to be more wackadoodle by the day as crunch time came for Biden to pick someone.

If the Biden-Harris 2020 ticket is going to appeal to progressives, Kamala Harris is going to have to vigorously and publicly disavow almost everything that she did before she was elected to the Senate. There may be enough Orange Man Bad fever out there make the progressives sing Kumbaya on election day, but that’s not likely given the taste of blood that they’ve gotten in recent months.

They’re not really much for compromise these days.

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.

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